Are you a Glossier girl or Milk girl?
Are you a busy girl on the go ready to get out there and DO ALL THE THINGS! and can't be bothered sitting around putting on makeup? Well good news for you; NYC-based artsy powerhouse Milk is here to save the day...with their range of high-end makeup that, in their own words, is "for the girl on the go who spends less time getting done up, more time getting stuff done."
That low-pitch screeching noise you are likely hearing after reading the above is me, seething at the marketing messaging of Milk Makeup's brand. Not only is it bordering on try-hard in a "tooedgy4U/SO COOL", there's a condescending backhand nature to it. Oh no! If you spend more than five minutes getting made up your lipstick will apparently suddenly shackle you and prevent you from leaving the house! Oh my god, think of all that time I could save sitting in the same traffic I'll sit in anyway to get to the office where I somehow manage to defy Milk's odds and get a lot of stuff for both my client and my actual company on top of a bunch of other assorted things that take up my time. My god, Milk, thank you for being here to free me from the shackles of my makeup routine by offering a pricier product range that is functionally no different than any other minimal or 5-Minute makeup routine!
I realize I'm being really sarcastic here, and if you like Milk then you do you, as always I say. That's cool, you probably have a lot of reasons and I'm not going to poo on your parade if it's a thing you love. But I do hope you're open to alternative brands or product suggestions.
Personally, for me as a beauty addict and marketing person, I really am not a fan of what they're putting out messaging wise. It's pretty hypocritical at the end of the day, and I hate how it tries to subtly slam people who like to take a little extra time doing something that's probably a pampering thing, the few quiet moments to themselves they might even that day, and something that makes them happy.
I've checked the reviews, and aside from a nice, if not, overpriced skin tint and really pigmented lipstick, the range seems to be....okay. Just, okay. There's definitely other vegan, cruelty-free lines out there (Pixi Beauty being a fave), there's definitely other brands that carry skin tints, or lip markets/chunky eyeliner pens, cream stick bronzers/highlighters, and cream cheek/lip pots. Milk seems to rely more on being a status thing, like "you must have this brand because all the cool kids are buying it" than being an actually super amazing range. And you know, while I personally aren't a fan they are clearly doing well. But I have to wonder if theirs is a range that will have market longevity. Right now, it's very much part novelty, part status symbol, and a lot of gimmick. They aren't reinventing the wheel or breaking the mold, they're just trying to, and in some manner succeeding, in convincing makeup lovers that they are.
On the flipside of the "makeup for cool kids" branding, I find Glossier far less irritating. I think their packaging is really cute, I like the skincare focus of their range, and it's another minimal makeup focused brand but with products that seem like a better offering and better curated for current trends. Also, while at the end of the day it's also a bit pricy and ultimately not truly unique and there are other similar products out there of likely equal or dupe quality for less, I have to admit I think they did a far better job with their marketing and development.
Glosser developed out of the popular site, Into the Gloss, spearheaded by Emily Weiss. Instead of just coming out as a random play and saying, "buy this to be the cool kid," Glossier did it in a more subtle (or better appearance of subtlety), organic way by taking advantage of Instagram, of soliciting for input/feedback on their blog through comments, and, most importantly, being really good with their social listening and seeing what their target demographic liked and was clamoring for. It was this strategy that resulted in products like their Milky Jelly Cleanser being developed and attaining cult status so fast as holy grail cleanser for many. And they did it without being condescending, suggesting their line is for the girl who likes less makeup or the girl who loves a lot of makeup, and that even their aspirational cool-girl appeal/lifestyle is something "they" sometimes fake/need to try for too. If Milk is an edgy model beckoning you to be like them, Glossier tries more to be your beauty BFF.
But at the end of the day with either brand, do you absolutely need to pay $48 for a skin tint? No, not really, but I can see the appeal when it comes to Glossier. There are more affordable options out there that are also vegan/cruelty free (which is coming up soon in another post), but what Glossier has done well is making a routine or diving into beauty for the first time a lot more accessible and less daunting, and because of what seems like an earnestly better attempt at being more authentic and listening to their audience, were I to buy something from either brand I'd lean far more for Glossier.
Sorry, Milk, you're just too cool for me.